Torbjørn Rødland

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Torbjørn Rødland (born 1970) is a Norwegian photographic artist born in Stavanger, Norway. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.[1]

His work was shown at the Venice Biennale of 1999, and a retrospective was held at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo in 2003.[2] In 2017, he had his first UK exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, titled The Touch That Made You.[3] The survey later travelled to Milan, Italy where it was exhibited at Fondazione Prada in 2018.[4]

Among public collections holding examples of his work are the Fonds national d'art contemporain in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art[5] and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Background and education[edit]

Rødland studied Photography at the National College of Art and Design in Bergen, Norway and cultural studies at the Rogaland University Centre in Stavanger, Norway.[citation needed]


Rødland's photography moves from genre to genre; portrait, landscape, still life can all be found in his constructed imagery of the everyday, whether in his Scandinavian hometown or in visual translations and explorations of Japanese Moé aesthetics or Americana.[6] Wanting to push forward the artistic boundaries of his medium, Rødland has reconceptualized and integrated aesthetic qualities dismissed in postmodern art. Building on the work by The Pictures Generation and Jeff Wall, Rødland's photography represents a surprising revaluation of lyricism and what he calls the sensuality of the photographic moment.[7] Originally known for his images of young beauties, Rødland transcended this potential trope by consistently inventing new lures for viewers of his photographs.[8] An example of these lures is the subtle co-existence of the twisted with the warm normalcy of his figures; as seen in his photograph of a woman's hand with an octopus tentacle creeping through her sleeve and wrapped around her fingers.[9] Also a subtle symbol of nonduality, this image is characteristic of Rødland's work.[10] His matter of factness, even in stylized imagery and multiple exposures, is what allows Rødland to straddle both the commonplace and the otherworldly.[11] Or, as curator Bennett Simpson put it in an essay on Rødland, published in 2000: "His images are subjunctive; they operate under the yoke of a doubt, an impacted desire, the possibility of an impossibility."[12]

Between 2004 and 2007 Rødland produced six video works. One of these, titled 132 BPM, was exhibited solo at MoMA PS1 (Long Island City)[13] and at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima). In 2018 Rødland produced a new video work, titled Between Fork and Ladder, which appeared in his solo exhibition Fifth Honeymoon at Bergen Kunsthall (Bergen).[14]



  1. ^ "Torbjorn Rodland's Puzzling Photos Are Unsettling and Arousing". Retrieved 2018-06-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Torbjørn Rødland: The Touch That Made You". Serpentine Galleries. Retrieved 2018-06-11. 
  4. ^ "TORBJØRN RØDLAND: THE TOUCH THAT MADE YOU – Fondazione Prada". Retrieved 2018-06-11. 
  5. ^ "MoMA: Torbjørn Rødland". e.g. MoMA. 2018-06-11. 
  6. ^ Gavin, Francesca. "Torbjørn Rødland". Dazed Digital. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Blalock, Lucas with Rødland and an introduction by Hoffman, Jens, Folding the Periphery, Mousse #42, Milan 2014, pp.118
  8. ^ Herbert, Martin. "Profile: Torbjørn Rødland". Contemporary Magazine. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
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  10. ^ Blalock, Lucas with Rødland and an introduction by Hoffman, Jens, Folding the Periphery, Mousse #42, Milan 2014, pp.119
  11. ^ Nickas, Bob. "The Perverted Photography of Torbjørn Rødland". Vice. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Simpson, Bennett, "Torbjørn Rødland's Sentimental Education", Nu: The Nordic Art Review 2000/No.3-4, Stockholm, pp.52-59
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Fifth Honeymoon". Bergen Kunsthall. Retrieved 2018-06-19. 
  15. ^ "Torbjørn Rødland: The Touch That Made You". Serpentine Galleries. Retrieved 2018-06-13. 
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  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
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